Political Animal


September 12, 2012 9:29 AM Assassination in Benghazi

By Ed Kilgore

There’s a lot we don’t know yet, but the president has himself confirmed that the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, along with three other State Department personnel, were killed yesterday by an attack on their car as they were (apparently) fleeing a besieged consulate. While the organization affiliation of the killers is not yet know, the protests during which Stevens and the others were killed were clearly inspired by earlier Egyptian protests, all stemming from an intense Islamist backlash against an obscure anti-Muslim video made in the United States. Unsurprisingly, the provocateur and alleged minister Terry Jones had drawn global attention to the video as part of a “Judge Muhammad Day” Jones had declared in connection with the 9/11 anniversary. Having shown he could inspire deadly riots in Afghanistan last year, Jones seems to understand his symbiotic relationship with Islamists very well.

Well before the killings in Benghazi, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo released a statement condemning “the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.” After the assassination news broke, Mitt Romney used that statement to say:

It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.

Just can’t resist any opportunity, however erroneous and opportunistic, to add a contrived data point to the fictitious “apology tour” case against Obama, eh, Mitt?

I’ll have more on this later in the day, I’m sure.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • davidp on September 12, 2012 9:45 AM:

    This event has no doubt confirmed the Romney camp in its belief that it's 1980 again.

  • Josef K on September 12, 2012 9:46 AM:

    Just can’t resist any opportunity, however erroneous and opportunistic, to add a contrived data point to the fictitious “apology tour” case against Obama, eh, Mitt?

    That's being generous. The Administration hadn't even made an official statement on the murders when Romney spouted off. Or maybe the latter was trying to force the former into having to say something even more outrageous, but that's a stretch given who we're talking right?

  • OC on September 12, 2012 9:46 AM:

    Once again Mittens shows he is nothing more than a shallow opportunistic a-hole. What a pathetic display.

  • TT on September 12, 2012 9:51 AM:

    What a disgusting piece of shit Mitt Romney is. Obama campaign should do a simple ad saying Romney is not ready to be commander in chief and site 2 or 3 examples:
    1) failure to thank troops during RNC speech
    2) Asshole behavior during flap over chinese dissident. He did exact same thing that he did yesterday..jumping head first without having all the facts
    3) Asshole behavior again today

    We also need someone like Colin Powell do a press conference and say Romney has disqualified himself. This is completely unacceptable bullshit. Respected republican foreign policy experts need to speak up..Colin Powell, Richard Lugar, James Baker etc. Romney is acting like highschool punk, jackass and bully.

  • dalloway on September 12, 2012 9:57 AM:

    Mitt the Shitt strikes again. He's acting like a high school punk, jackass and bully because that's what he is.

  • Mark_NC on September 12, 2012 9:58 AM:

    I truly do not understand how ANYBODY who claims to be religious (any religion) or decent could support the Repugnant Ones.

    What is it about religion and nasty that they so often go hand-in-hand with a grin?

  • c u n d gulag on September 12, 2012 10:00 AM:

    If Mitt and his campaign staff had a single feckin' brain-cell, they'd hold off his statement until AFTER the President and SoS release theirs.

    And then say, "Today, we all support the President and his decision.
    I will criticize him later, if he's wrong.
    But for now, everyone needs to rally around him, to show that Americans will not be intimidated, and will not be divided."

    Now THAT might actually work to help him get elected.

    No, instead, they'll try to policize this.
    I hope they choke on their words.

    And do we have a SEAL Team Seven that we can send to rid our nation of another relious maniac - Terry Jones?

  • twb on September 12, 2012 10:08 AM:

    Well, guess I'm off to make calls for the Obama campaign this weekend. This is the first time that I've really had actual contempt for Romney: we have Foreign Service Officers dead on the ground in foreign streets, and literally the first thing he does is start slinging mud to try and gin up votes.

    This guy shouldn't be allowed to run a PTA conference, let alone the United States of America. Worse than Nixon. Worse than Nixon.

  • Kathryn on September 12, 2012 10:10 AM:

    Mitt Romney is unfit for citizenship much less the presidency.

  • Dredd on September 12, 2012 10:13 AM:

    Kinda hard to believe their rage was based on some stupid kid's video when a better explanation is that they are pissed about losing:

    ... the fact that the Libyan people were cared for by their government (they shared in the revenue when their oil was sold, and it was deposited into their bank accounts; they had benefits at no cost to them such as health care, full education, zero interest loans, $50,000 upon marriage, free land use for farmers together with seeds and tools, cheap gasoline at .14 cents per liter, half of the purchase of a vehicle provided to them, and on and on) was not the reason they were invaded "in order to save them from their government".
    (Oil's Well That Ends Well).

  • Celui on September 12, 2012 10:15 AM:

    Look at this: another example of a VERY ill-prepared loudmouth positioning himself as some kind of authoritative 'leader' in the international arena. Has he been listening over the past 8-12 years? Evidence shows that he has not. This mindless mouthing should warn the American voters (at least those who can see beyond their own noses) that Romney is definitely NOT suitable for the international stage. Just watched SoS Clinton deliver (yet) another masterful statement from her desk. Thank Heaven for Hillary. No way for Mitt.

  • FlipYrWhig on September 12, 2012 10:20 AM:

    Mitt Romney is a dick. There's no other word for it. I want to see his smug face ground into the mud and that his legacy be that he becomes the most infamous laughingstock in American politics.

  • boatboy_srq on September 12, 2012 10:20 AM:

    What OC and dalloway said.

    @twb: Worse than Nixon? Worse than Buchanan.

    Honestly: the GOTea thinks Multiple Position Mitt is ready to take on the pResidency? If he's this odious a candidate, imagine what he'd be like speaking and acting authoritatively on foreign policy. If R/R are [s]elected, in November, the likelihood that we'd wind up at ware with somebody after Mitt poots his foot in his mouth, or jumps the gun, by March at the latest is frighteningly high.

    And of course to the GOTea nothing a Democrat ever does is right, so no response the administration could have given would have been adequate just because TABMITWH.

  • Marko on September 12, 2012 10:23 AM:

    This is what passes for Foreign Policy credentials in KarlRoveLand: Make outrageous attacks on the other guy so nobody notices the weak hand he is playing from.

  • T2 on September 12, 2012 10:26 AM:

    the killing of Americans in Libya is terrible, especially when caused by an American religious nut making an insulting movie. And Romney's response is stupid.
    But a far more important Foreign Policy issue is playing out at a rapid pace, the relationship between Netanyahu and the United States on the Iran problem. I'm starting to think that Netanyahu is planning a move designed to get Obama voted out, replaced with an easily controlled air head - Mitt Romney.

  • Bo on September 12, 2012 10:27 AM:

    If Willard were a truly patriotic and religious person, he would use this occasion to pack up his botoxed wife and five goof-ball sons; recruit The Boy Math-whiz Ryan, Terry Jones and Sam Bacile; and take them all on a two-year Mormon mission in Libya. It's time for The MittWit to put his money where his mouth is.

  • Peter C on September 12, 2012 10:37 AM:

    Based on a compilation like this: http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2012/09/12/834281/conservatives-fault-all-muslims/
    it is hard not feel like the Republicans would happily foment a religious war in order to gain power. It makes me sick.

  • Diane Rodriguez on September 12, 2012 10:38 AM:

    @T2. Couldn't agree more. The maneuvering by Netanyahu is far more dangerous. He is driving a very public wedge between he and Obama every chance he gets. Obama pushed back and is refusing to meet with him. I wonder if Romney will somehow effect a meeting with Netanyahu when he is in New York at the UN.

  • davidp on September 12, 2012 10:38 AM:

    T2: In practice the GOP contracted its foreign policy out to the Likud Party quite a while ago. It's a most unholy alliance.

  • Robert on September 12, 2012 10:39 AM:

    I just watched Mitt in a presser, and I have to say, this guy is really bad. I mean he is not as smart as he wants us all to believe, nor is he fit for the presidency. I could almost picture the mushroom clouds forming days after he is sworn in.
    And for this guy Terry Jones...why isn't the FBI escorting him and his group into jail for inciting riots. This movie is not protected free speech if are lives lost in the process. Neither is shouting "fire" in a movie theater, which is what this movie basically did. This Jones guy has finally succeeded in accomplishing what he has set out to do for years. False Prophets ya know?

  • Leopold Von Ranke on September 12, 2012 10:40 AM:

    This murderous outburst in the name of myth is truly appalling.

    A little superstition is a dangerous thing. (Apologies to Alexander Pope, who had a larger point to make). Romney is simply pandering to the Christian base, who, like the extreme Islamists, claim to be under "assault."

    Romney's "statement" is simply a difference of degree, not kind. Remember "Pis Christ?" No one killed, but the uproar was contextually similar. The recent Republican Convention? Romney and the Rs make use of this kind of superstition, just as the Islamists do.

  • boatboy_srq on September 12, 2012 10:44 AM:

    @Peter C

    [I]t is hard not feel like the Republicans would happily foment a religious war in order to gain power.

    That's only the first half of the equation. Part Two is using the power they've seized to start Global Thermonuclear War™ to defeat the Evil Mooslims™ and unGawdly Soshulists™, launch Teh End Tymes™ and summon Teh Messiah™. The FundiEvangelists don't want a God - they want a djinn.

  • Anonymous on September 12, 2012 2:45 PM:

    It’s disgraceful that my campaign’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to score cheap political points based on poorly contrived falsehoods.

    Fixed that for you Willard the Mormon.

  • thebewilderness on September 12, 2012 2:46 PM:

    He and the Republicans have been dog whistling this right along. This is a very clear message to those Americans who think they can bring about Armageddon and remain unscathed that Mitt is their guy and world wide religious war is their goal.

  • JoanneinDenver on September 12, 2012 7:42 PM:

    Statement from Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams on the Death of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens

    Ambassador Stevens served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco from 1983 to 1985 teaching English

    Washington, D.C., September 12, 2012 – The Peace Corps released the following statement from Director Aaron S. Williams in response to the death of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens in Libya.

    “The entire Peace Corps community is deeply saddened by the death of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

    “Like so many returned Peace Corps volunteers, he chose to continue his career in the international community by becoming a public servant. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and colleagues in the U.S. and in Libya.”